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Author Topic: Defender Resurrection  (Read 3721 times)

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GearHead

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Defender Resurrection
« on: May 27, 2016, 03:27:58 pm »
I acquired this cabinet from an operator clearing out his warehouse.  It was blue and had Final Fight installed in it but I knew that cabinet profile well. I scored a Defender cabinet.  Defender was one of the games I had always wanted. I had grand plans of restoring it but like many of my other projects it got buried in the garage. Ten years, a new job and two moves later I finally had some time to start up the Defender restoration. I also revived my MAME project at the same time. I was in for lots of quality time in the garage

Here's how I got the cabinet. It had been painted with several coats of tough paint but the cabinet was in decent shape.  It had been converted to a JAMMA cabinet so there wasn't much left of its origins left. It was pretty much an empty shell.


Luckily the original coin door was still intact.




Inside after I removed the monitor and Final Fight board.


Lots of work to do. I gutted the cabinet and cleaned it up a bit.  The next step was to try and get the paint off. If I was really lucky the original paint job would still be intact...




wp34

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Re: Defender Resurrection
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2016, 03:31:05 pm »
Nice score.  The silver coin door is a great bonus.

I'm hoping to restore a Defender in my near future as well.


Slippyblade

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Re: Defender Resurrection
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2016, 03:39:29 pm »
I've been reading a lot of KLOV lately and Citri-strip seems to be used a LOT.  Maybe give that a try on the paint?

CheffoJeffo

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Re: Defender Resurrection
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2016, 04:38:46 pm »
The silver coin door is a great bonus.

Yes!

If it were mine, I would rewire with a JAMMA loom (just to make it all clean), grab a Jrok and take it MultiWilliams. Repaint from the wood up using the Williams Multi stencils from ToG. Or (well, not really) go dedicated Defender using a Jrok and stencils from whomever is selling them these days.

For this, I would recommend reading pr0k's pages as listed on the old Restoration page in the wiki (nice to see it is still there):

http://wiki.arcadecontrols.com/wiki/Restoration

Nice cab with a gorgeous door deserves to be done up right.
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GearHead

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Re: Defender Resurrection
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2016, 07:12:42 pm »
I forgot to mention that I am further along on this project. I am just now getting around to documenting it so more to come soon.

A Multi Williams. I hadn't thought about that. Are JROK boards still available? If so, where? I have a Williams board set but the sound board is iffy and I haven't tested the rest yet.

BTW - pr0k's domain is no longer. There are some pages on the Internet Archive but with missing images.

wp34

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Re: Defender Resurrection
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2016, 07:37:40 pm »
I think it is against the forum rules to post a link but you can buy them from JROK on the KLOV forum.  There is also another retailer located in Moultrie Georgia that sells them.  It is a very nice board. 

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Re: Defender Resurrection
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2016, 08:36:06 pm »
For this, I would recommend reading pr0k's pages as listed on the old Restoration page in the wiki (nice to see it is still there):
Better yet, use the updated page on the new wiki.   ;D

http://newwiki.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?title=Restoration


Scott

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Re: Defender Resurrection
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2016, 10:53:32 am »
Time to Strip

I used CitriStrip to get the paint off the cabinet. It's a nice product and does a good job without the noxious fumes. I used it on my Midway cabinet with great results getting down to the original vinyl.

A good coating and some time revealed that it was indeed a Defender.






As I suspected the blue paint was going to be a problem.  There were too many places that had amazingly tough paint. The uneven finish made it unpractical to save the original paint job.
I am going to take it down to bare wood and build it back up again. Not a bad thing as Williams just banged these things out and there were lots of areas that needed filling and patching.






GearHead

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Re: Defender Resurrection
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2016, 09:15:18 am »
Lots of filling, sanding, priming and more sanding. I used a couple of different products. I used the usual wood putty but a few spots needed something stronger so I tried out the Abatron WoodEpox. Not too bad. Sands well and also takes paint well. For smaller spots that needed a thinner product I used 3M / Bondo Glazing and Spot putty.  The B I N primer rolled on nicely.

The cabinet is constructed from 3/4" plywood except for the bottom front panel which is MDF. The bottom of this panel was swollen from water and was flaking apart.



This time I used Abatron LiquidWood, a two part liquid epoxy. I sanded everything down and then saturated the bottom edge of the MDF with the LiquidWood. I let it soak in for a bit, wiped off the excess and then clamped it using some wood blocks covered with a plastic bag.  I also applied the LiquidWood to the rest of the cabinet bottom to keep the layers intact and to make it harder for water to seep in again.





After hardening, the flaking MDF was filled in and solid. I used a plane and a sander to level out the front so there wasn't a bulge at the bottom.  I seem to have forgotten to take photos...

After a few coats of primer it was time for painting. I built a spray booth in the garage with some leftover plastic drop cloths and an old box fan. I sprang for the Husky HVLP and Gravity Feed Spray Gun Kit for the job. For paint I used Rustoleum Black Satin 7777 without any thinning. For my first paint job I think I did ok.







wp34

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Re: Defender Resurrection
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2016, 10:55:33 am »
That looks really great so far.  Nice job on the wood repair.

I'd like to try spraying my next cabinet.  How extensive was your paint booth? 

GearHead

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Re: Defender Resurrection
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2016, 04:35:34 pm »
Thanks. Definitely looking better than I expected.

The booth was pretty simple. I had the end of a roll of plastic drop cloth.
I created the booth by stapling it up to the rafters of my garage so it formed a small room.  It wasn't sealed at the top to allow air to flow.
To actively vent it I used an old box fan. I bought a couple of air filters and taped one to the fan.
Whenever I sprayed the fan was setup at the "door" of the booth which was just where the ends overlapped.
The fan blew the air out of the garage.

To cut down on how big the booth needed to be I put the cabinet on a dolly so I could spin it around instead of having to walk around it.

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Re: Defender Resurrection
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2016, 05:03:49 pm »
Nice work so far.  Can't wait to see the before and after pics side by side.

DeL
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GearHead

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Re: Defender Resurrection
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2016, 03:06:18 pm »
Artwork Stencil Time!

This is the first time I used stencils so it took much longer than it should have and there are few mistakes. Luckily nothing that can't be fixed.

I bought the stencils from GameStencils 5 years ago and they have been sitting around since then. Good news is that the hadn't aged a bit and were totally usable.

Applying them can be challenging, especially if you're doing it alone and for the first time. Takes a bit to get used to handling them.
By the time I get to painting my Robotron I will have to learn everything all over again.

I used Krylon Red Pepper spray paint. The match is pretty good. I did several coats to get a good layer down.
Results are nice. The cabinet looks great. Not quite like the original which was painted with lighter coats of paint and not as smooth. This one is pretty shiny.















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Re: Defender Resurrection
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2016, 09:31:29 pm »
great job...

GearHead

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Re: Defender Resurrection
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2016, 10:44:21 am »
Sprayed the yellow. Used Krylon Sun Yellow.

Took some time to properly align the yellow stencil on the registration marks the first time.

Things came out better than I thought they would. She's starting to look like a proper Defender.






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Re: Defender Resurrection
« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2016, 10:53:29 am »
Wow!  Looks legit!
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jtslade

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Re: Defender Resurrection
« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2016, 03:12:03 pm »
Looks great. What kind of breathing protection are you using. I'm getting ready to Clearcoat my Jungle Lord PF and I have the HB cyonate mask but I'm thinking about upgrading


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harveybirdman

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Re: Defender Resurrection
« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2016, 04:28:23 pm »
 :applaud:

Love all this stencil work on the forum lately!

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Re: Defender Resurrection
« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2016, 05:36:28 pm »
Much props on the stencil work!

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Re: Defender Resurrection
« Reply #19 on: June 12, 2016, 03:37:30 pm »

The way the Defender has come out has definitely inspired me to repaint my Robotron but that will have to wait.
I've sprayed the entire cabinet with a clear coat so I should be done with painting for now.

@jtslade - I've been using a half mask with AOSafety 8051 cartridges.  Nothing special. I probably should buy a new one before my next project.


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Re: Defender Resurrection
« Reply #20 on: June 21, 2016, 01:31:47 pm »
I clear coated the cabinet.







 Also took a look at some of the boards I have. The sound board is going to need some work. Saving that for later.

harveybirdman

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Re: Defender Resurrection
« Reply #21 on: June 21, 2016, 02:06:42 pm »
Man that looks great!

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Re: Defender Resurrection
« Reply #22 on: June 21, 2016, 02:29:52 pm »
I just noticed something and am confused by it.  The original Defender artwork that was uncovered... the spaceman's head is on the CP side, the finished stencil job, his head is facing the back of the cabinet.  Looking online for images of cabinets, it seems that they swapped back and forth.  Was this factory dependent or something?  Just a little confusion is all.

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Re: Defender Resurrection
« Reply #23 on: June 22, 2016, 02:05:56 am »
...The original Defender artwork that was uncovered... the spaceman's head is on the CP side, the finished stencil job, his head is facing the back of the cabinet. ...Was this factory dependent or something?

I don't think that this is a factory variation. Since the change to stencils was made to reduce cost, you have to believe that they'd reduce the cost as much as possible by designing one stencil set instead of a set for each side if they could get away with it.

If you look at some of the artwork images online, you can see the side art presented as one continuous image, extending into the control panel 'bump' in both directions. It's feasible that the one set would have been masked for whichever side was being stenciled to give it a clean edge.

In this case, GameStencils seems to have cheated a little by recreating the left side, then mirroring it to make the right side. By doing so, they'd only have to flip the word DEFENDER around and call it done. That's modern technology.

The result looks really sharp, but as a reproduction, it's not perfect. Ignoring the spaceman, which stylistically could go either way, you can see that the red stencil for the left side art has the upper right edge of the 'diamond' cut back a little to compensate for the shape of the R, but for the mirrored right side art, that ends up behind the D. Although that's not a problem for the D, it leaves the uncut red edge visible beyond the side of the R.

Does something like that really matter? No, but I wish people who make repros wouldn't take shortcuts like that. In GameStencil's defense though, GearHead did say that the stencils were purchased a few years ago, so it's possible that the apparent inconsistencies have already been brought to their attention and researched/fixed.

Now, if GearHead decides that there's just no living with a spaceman that may or may not be facing the 'right' way, I'd be very happy to give the cabinet a loving home. Seems like it already has one though.

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Re: Defender Resurrection
« Reply #24 on: June 22, 2016, 11:30:03 am »

I noticed the difference when I used the stencils and did a little digging. Apparently Defenders had both variations of the side art. 

There's a thread on KLOV where one user says that when they built the early versions of Defender they used the same stencil on both sides and later versions used two separate stencils both with the spaceman facing the front of the machine. According to prOk who owns Game Stencils there are at least 7 versions of the artwork. I've seen a few, mostly with the stars in different places. I wonder how he decided on which version to use. Perhaps he should offer two versions of the stencils with the spaceman facing different directions on the right side.

Williams pumped out more than 50,000 Defenders and they did so pretty quickly. Consistency in the side art was probably not a priority.  Paint jobs were done fast so the two color layers line up differently on machines. My other Defender has its original artwork intact. The plywood sides aren't smooth, there are knots and other chunks missing that they just painted over, the paint layers are thin and there's lots of bleeding.    My restoration paint job looks nice but isn't a true, accurate reproduction as it's way too smooth, the paint layers are too thick and there's little to no bleeding. Despite that I think I'll keep it... 


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Re: Defender Resurrection
« Reply #25 on: June 22, 2016, 12:36:09 pm »
Mind you, I'm not denigrating the job done here, it's gorgeous.  It was just something that I noticed and was curious about.  The longer I hang around here and KLOV, the more I start to notice things like that.

wp34

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Re: Defender Resurrection
« Reply #26 on: June 22, 2016, 12:49:43 pm »
It looks HUO to me. Well done.  :cheers: 

Nobody will notice the difference unless you plop a survivor Defender next to it in your game room.

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Re: Defender Resurrection
« Reply #27 on: July 15, 2016, 06:02:23 pm »
Fantastic job.  I have an old Defender cabinet that was converted to Ghouls 'N' Ghosts way back when.  Whoever did that put blue formica over the original artwork.  This has me thinking about removing the formica to see what shape the original paint is in. :applaud:

GearHead

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Re: Defender Resurrection
« Reply #28 on: August 24, 2016, 09:35:43 pm »
Coin door time.

Spent some time with the coin door. Here's how I got it.




Scotch Brite and Magic Eraser made things pretty easy. The results are not too bad.
Still needs a little work on the coin return door.


harveybirdman

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Re: Defender Resurrection
« Reply #29 on: August 24, 2016, 09:46:11 pm »
Looks great.

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Re: Defender Resurrection
« Reply #30 on: August 24, 2016, 10:02:06 pm »
That door turned out very nice.   :applaud:

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Re: Defender Resurrection
« Reply #31 on: August 29, 2016, 12:35:46 pm »
This is looking really great. I like the stencil work.  :applaud:

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Re: Defender Resurrection
« Reply #32 on: August 29, 2016, 01:23:01 pm »
I've never really cared for Defender. Too many buttons and too hard of a game.

But man... this restoration is great. Love seeing original machines come back to life.
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Re: Defender Resurrection
« Reply #33 on: August 29, 2016, 01:49:28 pm »
I think defender (like robotron) is only awesome with the original control layout - it loses a lot in translation. Played an original recently and it changed my mind about the game.

Superb resto. Stencils, coin door, everything  :D

GearHead

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Re: Defender Resurrection
« Reply #34 on: August 29, 2016, 02:18:11 pm »
I took Cheffo's advice and picked up a JROK MultiWilliams board. Wow, this thing is nice. It's in my Robotron and working flawlessly. I no longer have to worry about the RAM chips or my dead sound board, it fires up every time.  I am thinking about buying another one to run the Defender until I get its board set working or to permanently replace the aging electronics.

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Re: Defender Resurrection
« Reply #35 on: August 31, 2016, 06:19:59 pm »
 :applaud:

I love that board.
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Re: Defender Resurrection
« Reply #36 on: October 29, 2016, 07:09:24 pm »
Hey! I just picked up an old defender cab last night myself! This is my first venture into arcade gaming!

You're stencil artwork looks amazing! I'll have to monitor your thread here as I imagine you and I will probably wind up encountering at least a few of the same problems.

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Re: Defender Resurrection
« Reply #37 on: December 01, 2016, 04:52:45 am »
Wow, just wow!

Excellent job!  :applaud:
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Re: Defender Resurrection
« Reply #38 on: December 01, 2016, 04:06:45 pm »
Really awesome job! :applaud:  Those stencils are tricky for sure. My Robotron was an adventure, and didn't turn out nearly as clean..

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Re: Defender Resurrection
« Reply #39 on: December 03, 2016, 01:44:06 pm »
Thanks, the stencil work came out much better than I thought it would. Hopefully my Robotron will also come out nicely.

Control Panel Time
The control panel that came with the cabinet was trashed from having gone through several conversions. It was an ugly array of holes and wood putty. Easiest thing to do was to make a new one.  A few passes on the saw and some time on the drill press with my forstner drill set and I had a fresh, new panel. 



I picked up button set from Bob Roberts and then realized I didn't have the right sized leaf switches. All the ones I had were not meant to be mounted directly to the control panel and were the wrong height.  I didn't have any luck locating any of the correct ones so it was the 3D printer to the rescue. I drew up a nice little spacer in Sketchup and printed out a bunch of them on an old Makerbot. They do the job nicely.


Original leaf switch on top.  New leaf switch and spacer on the bottom.



This project has been in the works for over a decade so I was lucky to have purchased an overlay from the old Arcade Renovations (I think it was them...) about 10+ years ago. It's silkscreened on plexi which is closer to the original than the polycarbonate ones which are more common.   I also picked up a Williams 2 way joystick that was pretty much new.  Things are looking good.






It's a little shiny and needs some polishing and cleaning but I will take care of that later.  After I figure out the interior I will get to wiring things up.
Next up  - what to do about filling the inside of the cabinet. I'm going to need a monitor, power supply, boardset and harness.

  
 

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